The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) announces eight winners chosen in its special COVID-19 edition of the “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!” competition. Focused on innovations in COVID-19-related pediatric medical devices that will improve children’s healthcare, 16 finalists competed on Monday, July 20, in a virtual pitch event for a share of $250,000 in total grant awards.

A panel of 75 expert judges from healthcare, business, investor, and regulatory sectors selected award winners based on the clinical significance and commercial feasibility of their COVID-19-related medical devices for children. The competition focused on medical devices that support home health monitoring and telehealth, and improve sustainability, resiliency and readiness in diagnosing and treating children during a pandemic.

For safety and efficiency, the competition utilized a video conference format. The event was presented by NCC-PDI co-founders Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Hospital and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, and powered by nonprofit accelerator and NCC-PDI member, MedTech Innovator.

“Because of the high quality of submissions and the critical need for pandemic-related pediatric medical devices, we are excited to recognize and award eight innovations from this event’s highly competitive field,” says Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD, MBA, PMP, vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National Hospital and principal investigator of NCC-PDI. “COVID-19 is presenting unprecedented challenges and my NCC-PDI colleagues and I know that supporting pediatric innovations will improve care for the patients and families we serve.”

Here are the 2020 “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!” special COVID-19 edition competition winners and their grant awards:  

  • Bloom Standard (Kaaria), Hong Kong—$20,000 awarded—wearable, artificial intelligence-driven ultrasound for infant cardiac and pulmonary screening and diagnostics
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia—$20,000 awarded—transparent, reusable DIY origami facemask that reveals facial expressions and improves communication
  • Hopscotch, Ithaca, N.Y.—$20,000 awarded—gamified cognitive behavioral therapy-based computer exercises to encourage kids to stay engaged and complete treatment programs
  • Medipines, Yorba Linda, Calif.—$50,000 awarded—monitor device that displays critical respiratory parameters analyzed from a patient’s breathing sample
  • OtoPhoto, Baltimore: $20,000 awarded—a smart otoscope that quickly and accurately aids diagnosis of ear infections for home telehealth use
  • TGV-Dx, New York: 50,000 awarded—a novel, phenotype-based test system for rapid selection of effective antibiotic regimen
  • Vitls, Houston: $50,000 awarded—wearable platform for remote patient monitoring of the vitals clinicians require to assess a patient
  • X-Biomedical, Philadelphia: $20,000 awarded—portable smart ICU ventilator for pediatric and adult patients

The competition format included a pitch presentation by the innovators to the judging panel followed by a question-and-answer session. Judges’ questions delved further into the development process, feasibility of the technology, current resources, the potential market and commercialization strategy. 

“These winners represent some of the most promising emerging medical device innovations in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of children affected by COVID-19,” says Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator. “I’m thrilled that we were able to work together with NCC-PDI and seventy-five expert industry stakeholders and clinicians to provide support for these innovators on their critical missions to improve and protect the lives of pediatric patients, our most vulnerable population.”